Mundial Cocina Mestiza is a breath of fresh, Mediterranean air in taqueria-dominated Pilsen. Mundial, which means worldwide, boasts a menu of Mediterranean and Mexican fusion cuisine, such as the roasted corn risotto, made with Arborio rice, roasted corn and poblano peppers, and the mojarra empapelada
, a whole baked tilapia stuffed with chorizo, epazote and jalapeno mayo.
Ceviche, bruschetta, empanads and panini all vie for attention, though the result is more harmony than discord. Portions are generous and artfully plated, and the offerings are rounded out nicely with a kid's menu and raw bar.
The diverse flavors and exceptional execution come at the hands of the three chefs that own this sunny spot, with experience in kitchens such as Gordon, BIN 36, Park Grill and mk. The fancy plating doesn't mean this place is stuffy, however. (And with no entree over $20, how can it be?) "We opened in Pilsen for a reason," says owner Katie Garcia.
Indeed, amidst the blue and white tiled walls and the simple wooden tables, there's a definite sense of communal enjoyment. Don't be surprised if someone at a neighboring table asks if you're enjoying your rib-eye.
The relaxed pace of the meal slows down even more when it comes to choosing a dessert, with options such as coconut-pineapple mousse and a rotating menu of inventive crepes (like strawberry basil or bananas and marshmallow). No matter your choice, pair it with a cup of heavenly cinnamon coffee for a decadent end to a delicious meal. Live music on Sunday evenings. BYOB, with a $3 corkage fee.
Average cost: $21-$30
Centerstage Reviewer: Kate Rockwood